Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG) held its 5th Bi-Annual India Heads of Partner Group Meeting at IIT-Madras on 12th - 13th March 2015. The inauguration ceremony held on 12th afternoon at the IC and SR auditorium of IIT Madras was graced by Prof. Ramamurthi, Director, IIT-Madras; Mr. Achim Fabig, German Consul General in Chennai; Mr. Felix Kahle, Head of International Relations, MPG, Administrative Headquarters, Munich and Dr. Arabinda Mitra, Adviser and Head, International Cooperation (Bilateral), Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India. Prof. Dr. Laurent Gizon, Director, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany delivered a public lecture – Seismology of the Sun and Stars – at the opening ceremony which was attended by more than 300 students and faculty of IIT-Madras. The second lecture at the opening ceremony was delivered by Dr. Vinayak Sinha, Head of MPG Partner Group; Convener and Faculty, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences; Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Mohali. On 13th March, Heads of Partner Groups from prestigious institutions across India presented their research work among peers followed by lively discussions.
Max Planck Partner Groups have been developed as a global instrument for the support of collaborative research in target areas which are scientifically promising and innovative, geared to the future and of mutual interest to Max Planck Institutes (MPI) and to the designated partner institutions. Partner Groups are led by outstanding guest researchers of MPI who have returned or are about to return to a high-performance research institution / university in their home country. Heading a Max Planck Partner Group is a distinction and candidates for Max Planck Partner Groups are designated by the President of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft.
In India, the Heads of Partner Groups receive additional equivalent funding from Department of Science and Technology (DST) apart from 20,000 Euros from MPG per year for a period of 3 years maximum extendable to 5 years. The program on the Indian side is administered by Indo-German Science and Technology Centre (IGSTC).
With 38 Partner Groups established since 2005 and 22 partner groups currently active, India is the country with maximum number of partner groups worldwide.